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Motherhood: What a long, strange trip it’s been

I tripped over a cello yesterday, landed hard on the fingerboard and picked up steam as I skidded past an ineffective rock stop.

Eventually, I came to rest under our stately piano which, I imagine, sighed heavily and shook its dignified keys in dismay. We’ve had our piano for 20 years, and it’s seen more pratfalls than the set of Saturday Night Live.

In fact, we have a house rule, inspired by a similar dramatic scene many years ago. Tip toeing to the living room late one night, hungry baby in arms, I stepped on a rogue piece of Lego. I held onto the baby, but not my dignity, as I jumped around on my uninjured foot, face contorted into an expression perfectly captured in Edvard Munch’s the Scream.

The next morning, with the Lego shaped bruise on the ball of my foot maintaining a throbbing reminder, I sat my sweet children down and issued this proclamation:

“If Mommy steps on a toy, she’s throwing it out.”

And then I did.

There was the action figure incident of 1995, when the right arm of a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger caught my big toe and we both careened across a slippery kitchen floor.

Powers of water. Powers of Light. Unite!

I tossed it.

A pink Barbie Doll Dune Buggy met a similar fate after a banana peel slip sent us both on a wild ride across the family room.

Though they weren’t the tidiest children in the neighborhood, eventually all four of them learned to put away their toys or risk the wrath of their clumsy but consistent mother.

We’re an easily identifiable sorority, we mothers. We wear macaroni jewelry and hum nonsensical tunes.

And I’m no scientist but I’ll bet an X-ray survey of our big toes would reveal in each one of us, the Lego shaped outline of a healing fracture.

In my defense, it was a darm and stormy night when I tripped over this enormous cello, sent my cellphone, into which I was speaking, flying across the room and landed sprawled under the piano. After further review, and considering both the expense and the conspicuous nature of the instrument, I did not throw it away...this time.

In my defense, it was a dark and stormy night when I tripped over this enormous cello, sent my cellphone, into which I was speaking, flying across the room and landed sprawled under the piano. After further review, and considering both the expense and the conspicuous nature of the instrument, I did not throw it away…this time.

I say Edvard Munch's inspiration for this painting was the small toy lodged under its' subject's toe.

I say Edvard Munch’s inspiration for this painting was the small toy lodged under the subject’s toe.

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Posted on July 24, 2013, in humor, life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ha Ha! I have said the same thing to my kids. My husband once threw a toy out of our van window while driving down a highway because the kids were fighting over it. They still talk about it today!

  2. Totally using this rule when Sammy gets old enough to understand it!

    • Full disclosure: My son helpfully pointed out what that Power Ranger would have been worth today had I not thrown it away. Knowing what I know today…I still would have tossed the thing.

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